Friday, February 21, 2014

24 Weeks: Busy and Hungry

24 weeks came and went in a blur of work. I'm getting a little tired of my crazy schedule. I'm not working more than 40 hours a week, but I am switching back and forth between home visits and 12-hour shifts and days and nights and healthy babies and sick babies. It's pretty chaotic. But I should mention that Ross has been completely awesome! I try not to complain too much, and overall most of the pregnancy changes fascinate me instead of bothering me, but I had two really long and physically difficult days in the NICU on Thursday and Friday and I got this text Friday afternoon:

He's taking such good care of us already!

But back to the beginning of the week... I was sore and tired and just ached all over on Tuesday, and Wednesday I woke up and felt like the belly grew overnight! I'm hungry ALL the time and I'm starting to get lightheaded and nauseated if I don't eat every 2 hours or so. It's actually a little frustrating with the aforementioned busy schedule. I end up grabbing sugary snacks more than I'd like to, because they're convenient, even though I don't feel great afterwards.

Baby's movements continue to get bigger and they're so fun to feel! I'm incredibly nostalgic and I'm already well aware that you only get to feel a baby moving inside of you for so many months of your life, and there's really no way to capture the feeling or replicate it! Still so weird, but so cool.  It's hard to believe the scrawny 24-weeker inside of me can make such big movements that are even visible from the outside.

Baby is about as long as an ear of corn, or the size of a canteloupe all curled up, which I can believe. He supposedly gained 6 ounces in the last week alone! (And I gained, like, 2 pounds. Blah.) I've been gaining weight slow and steady overall, but I think I'm about to start gaining a lot more rapidly, which is a little uncomfortable. I didn't physically feel like I was carrying extra weight until this week. Now suddenly all my joints hurt and I feel so heavy, like I gained all of that weight overnight instead of over 5+ months.

I'm a little stressed about my weight gain this week, actually. All along, I've been riding the top of the appropriate weight gain curve, and it's a little aggravating to feel like I have no control over it. I'm certainly not cramming food in, or consciously "eating for two." In fact, it's been nice to feel and acknowledge hunger cues instead of eating based on what time of the day it is. I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full! I can't fit much in at one sitting, so I'm eating small meals/snacks frequently. I've gained 4 pounds in the last 3 weeks which is not surprising because I'm constantly eating. Yet... wow that's a lot of weight. I do feel like my belly is visibly growing at least, which helps me not mind it as much, but it's still nerve-wracking. I'm sure it'll even out in the long run, and as long as I'm keeping baby healthy it's all worth it. But I've taught too many diabetic education classes to not be a little anxious ;-) Also, I know that the healthier I am during pregnancy, the easier recovery will be.

22 weeks vs. 24 weeks. Pictures don't really do the growth justice!

In light of weight gain, I know I said I "popped" last week, but I think it was really on Wednesday of this week. Perfect strangers have now asked if I'm pregnant and when I'm due. (Sometimes I feel the devil tempting me to say, "oh I'm not pregnant," or "due for what?" to really make the other person uncomfortable. Ha! But actually, I'm excited that I look outwardly pregnant now.) Last week I also started having Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are totally bizarre. Usually painless, sometimes not. Labor is going to be... fun?

At 24 weeks pregnant, even imagining going into labor right now is hard to fathom. I have a new empathy for our NICU mamas who deliver too soon. No wonder they seem so shell-shocked! Having a baby right now is so unexpected. I'd feel so unprepared.

Cravings: Back to sushi, Chinese food, and Lulu's Thai food. Although I don't know that they're cravings so much as flat-out hunger.  Everything sounds good! One thing I can't get out of my mind is a double chocolate cake donut from Lamar's. I'm trying to wait it out, but there may be a gluten indulgence and subsequent stomachache in my future...

Looking forward to:
My GTT and 28 week labs. I know, I'm weird. And as much as I want time to SLOW DOWN, I'm also excited for our 28 week ultrasound! Really trying to savor one day at a time, though. There will always be next steps and milestones to reach. There won't always be today-- growling stomach, little kicks and rolls, hip pain, and all.

Anxious about:
-How quickly time is moving. I feel like A LOT has to happen between now and June and the weeks are just whizzing by.
-Also feeling a little unprepared for the fact that our lives will never be the same in 4 short months... I'm pretty selfish with the little bit of downtime I do get, and Ross and I are used to being just the two of us. It'll be weird to have our Saturday errands and last-minute dinners out interrupted with such a big life change. (Not that we're not excited! It's just hard to wrap your head around.)
-The aforementioned ultrasound. Praying that my placenta looks better this time and that baby is growing well.
-Please don't talk about stillbirths or cord knots around me. I've heard these words used too much this past week, and they terrify me.

Thankful for:
-A viable pregnancy and an active baby! Seriously. The first half of pregnancy was a hormonal and emotional mess, and I'm so glad the mood swings are starting to even out now. I'm starting to feel a bit more sane now that I look and feel pregnant, too. Can. Not. Wait. To meet this little guy.
-Ross. He's been such a good listener when I do complain, and he really is taking good care of us. He's also such a good sport every time I tell him to come feel the baby move, even though half the time the baby makes me a liar and stops moving then!
-My compression tights. They are a huge hassle to hand-wash every night, and a struggle to put on every morning, but my swelling and pain is so much worse on the days I don't wear them!

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